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CSU makes the right move continuing the tradition of "Sonny Lubick Field"

Justin Michael Avatar
April 4, 2016

 

Over the next 30 years, Colorado State will be receiving $20 million from a secret donor to transfer the name of “Sonny Lubick Field” from Hughes Stadium to on-campus stadium when its doors open in 2017.

Head coach of the Rams from 1993-2007, Lubick took a laughing stock of a program and built it from the ground up. Undoubtedly the best coach in Colorado State history, Lubick at 79 years old, is still an active member of the Fort Collins community.

While it may seem odd to name a field after somebody who never coached a down in the new stadium, CSU is making the right move honoring the legendary coach. Obviously, the school would have been crazy to turn down that kind of money, and the gesture by the fan — or group of fans — was phenomenal.

By honoring Lubick, Colorado State is paying homage to to the man that made all of this possible.

Sure, Mike Bobo, Jim McElwain, and even Steve Fairchild to some extent have done all the recent leg work, but Lubick was the man that showed sustained success is possible at Colorado State University. When Sonny came to CSU, the program had won only 47 games in the previous 11 seasons.

In Lubick’s 15 seasons as head coach of the Rams, CSU played in nine bowl games and won or shared their conference title more than any other program (6). Until McElwain led the Rams to 10 victories in 2014, Lubick was the only coach in history to lead CSU to a 10-win season, a feat he accomplished four times.

Traditionally coaches like Lubick do not stick around mid-major universities, but every bone in Lubick’s body was green and gold. His loyalty to CSU made him a beloved figure in the state, and rightfully so. Lubick committed himself wholeheartedly to this program, and the foundation he built for Colorado State made the success of recent years possible.

Just like Harry Hughes — whom the current stadium is named for — laid the ground work for football to be a major institution at this stellar Colorado State University, Lubick blazed a trail not only for McElwain and Bobo as successful successors, but for the soon-to-be-completed stadium.

Without Sonny, there would be no sunny days over the horizon, no light at the end of the tunnel; football plausibly could have folded in Fort Collins. Instead, he set the bar for which to judge success and set it so high he has become the standard for which all other football coaches continue to be judged.

As Colorado State enters a new chapter of history for the program, the possibilities are bright with a fancy new stadium, as well as a football program that appears to be continuing to grow in the right direction. With the new facilities, and possibilities of even brighter horizons, as the university continues to make a push for Power 5 conference opportunities, the name “Sonny Lubick Field” is a reminder of how this was all made possible.

A lot about this program has changed for the better in recent years. Securing an apparel deal with Under Armour has been a huge boost for CSU — which AD Joe Parker hangs his hat on, and rightfully so — and obviously the on-campus stadium is expected to do wonders for the program, both in ticket sales and recruiting. However, there is something to be said about college football and nostalgia. 

So, as the program continues to grow and seeks new heights, it is wonderful to know the Rams will not be completely losing tradition. They’ll continuously be reminded of the winning which took place at this school long before they were in Fort Collins, before they were even born, in the near future. They’ll be reminded of a man who constructed a winner out of a perennial loser, and a man who did it the right way.

For years and generations to come, fans young and old will sing the praises of Sonny Lubick, just as it ought to be.

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